Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taste of the Nation Baltimore and Conference of Leaders 2011

This past weekend we closed up shop for a few days for Share Our Strength's Conference of Leaders and Taste of the Nation Baltimore.  It was a weekend full of inspiration, education and food, glorious food! 

Taste of the Nation Baltimore
For those of you who read our post about Taste of the Nation Boston, you very well know The Cookie Lady is all about gorging...and gorge I did!  Of the 20-some participating restaurants, I spent the most time with Wit & Wisdom where I ate enough maple custard with caramel sauce and vanilla crumble to put the entire room into a food coma. My hubby and I mixed and mingled with the incredible people like famed chef Timothy Cipriano,  Eve Lee, host of the Great American Bake Sale at Philips Healthcare, Bill Wooldridge one of Share Our Strength's Cutting Edge Scholarship Program participants and many, many more.

TOTN Baltimore Had A Photo Booth!   
What an absolutely GREAT idea!  People could hop in the booth, snap a couple pictures and bring home a No Kid Hungry keepsake.  The pictures were also projected on two large screens during the event...some information I could have used before hoping into the booth :P.  

Conference of Leaders
This was a weekend full of such inspiration, such education and such passionate people, but I realize my attempt at writing about the entire conference in an itty bitty little blog post would be feeble at best.  That said, I would like to hilghlight two of my favorite portions - Cooking Matters and the Getting Personal With No Kind Hungry session.

Cooking Matters - Share Our Strength's food education course that teaches families, teens and individuals how to prepare healthy, delicious food on a limited budget - staff and volunteers were prominent throughout the entire conference.  To know that Share Our Strength offers a program to help parents and children really work with what they get (which, too often, is very little) is fantastic.  There was a lot of discussion about nutrition and food insecurity and this is a phenomenal campaign that helps families face challenges they may encounter.  I especially love that Cooking Matters is rocking it out up here in the northeast!  Check out the Cooking Matters home page for links to downloadable tool kits, finding a program near you and getting involved.

One of my favorite sessions, Getting Personal With No Kid Hungry, was interactive!  Led by Amy Crowell - Director of Great American Bake Sale & Grassroots Fundraising, this session gave me the opportunity to meet Aleta Greer, woman behind Coins For Kids, hear from Jackie Price who started hosting bake sales at 14 and has since raised over $10,000(WOW!), and brainstorm with other session participants on how to expand, better and evolve Great American Bake Sale.  GABS is a campaign that, obviously, I love!  To have the chance to hear other participants feedback was awesome and there is much that I will be taking away and utilizing in my 2012 campaign.
10 Things You Missed At Share Our Strength's Conference Of Leaders 
Blog Post By Clay Dunn

Other Awesome No Kid Hungry Links: Get Local, Best Practices

5 Fun Off Topic Facts About My Weekend: written by me :)
  • Occupy Baltimore has approximately 15 tents
  • If you stay at Days Inn Inner Harbor you get a bag of microwave popcorn...and a microwave
  • If you take the escalators down from the ballroom in Renaissance Inner Harbor, you will not be able to get back up without walking around
  • Fred got pulled into the airport security box on the way home
  • We were on the same plane as Billy Shore (heading to Baltimore) and Jason Santos (heading home)

Flash Mob at Conference of Leaders
Just another reason to love Jessica Bomberg - Senior Coordinator of Great American Bake Sale

I am honored and humbled to receive Share Our Strength's 2011 Great American Bake Sale Leadership Award!  Please find Share Our Strength's press release with the names of all 17 award winners HERE
Again, WOOOO!!!
Very Special Thank Yous To:   
Our Campaign Sponsor - BJ's Wholesale Club of Haverhill, MA
The Ladies of Great American Bake Sale - Amy Crowell, Jessica Bomberg and Sylvia Vidal
Twitter Peeps That Really Helped Spread The Word - Ty Sullivan, John Scroggins, Amanda Hite, Joel Owens, Jamie L. Simon, and Steff Childs
Facebook Peeps That Did So Too - Carolyn Kolowsky, Brian Gardner, Monte Tareski & Steve Presley, Herbert Chao
The Friends of Kevin Radio Show - Especially Kevin Willet
My Little Girls - Jazmin & Mia
My Parents- Who show up at every event
My AWESOME Husband - who I now owe $10

Links for everyone who participated in 2010 & 2011 are located in the left sidebar.  THANK YOU!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Kindle, A Baker & A Holiday Tag

Win My Kid A Kindle!

My daughter's 10th birthday is October 13th and now that she's a little older, she has decided to ask for one big present rather than one big party.  Wondering what she asked for?  A Kindle of all things!  And oddly enough, this is exactly the prize for Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale's Take Your Best Shot Contest!!

 Why Vote "Team Cookie Central" Today?

Just look at that face....

Vote Team Cookie Central (Michele Gorham)


*Join The Fat Baker Club*

**During the month of October, we will donate your entire membership fee to Share Our Strength to support their efforts to fight childhood hunger in America*


It is great customers like you that keep Cookie Central running! As a way to give back we now offer The Fat Baker Club, featuring free monthly giveaways, discounts on all your orders and a complimentary gift basket when you sign up. Check out the Fat Baker Club Blog to learn more.


***Yearly Membership Includes:

5% off All Your Orders For The Entire Year

One Compilmentary Gift Basket

(includes chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin)

Automatic Entry Into Our Monthly Giveaways



Share Your Holiday Basket

If your like me, you've alerady started your holiday shopping, possibly having some of the presents wrapped and ready to go.  So for all you early birds, here's a preview of what basket specials we will have available for 2011.  What makes these basket that much more special, is that each is attached with a Share Our Strenght holiday gift tag, letting your friends family and client know that you too are making a difference.  Wth each basket sold, a $10.00 donation will be made by Cookie Central to Share Our Strength and support their efforts to fight childhood hunger in America.

Friends Basket
2 Dozen Assorted Cookies

Family Basket
3 Dozen Assorted Cookies
1/2 Pan Classic Brownies

Gourmet Basket
4 Dozen Assorted Cookies
1/2 Pan Classic Brownies
1/2 Pan Butterscotch Blondies